Age: 35 years old

Country: Turkey

Ahmet Ozan Baysal is a Turkish bağlama (saz) player, composer, and performer, specialising in şelpe – an Anatolian bağlama performance technique that dispenses with a plectrum. Having played the instrument from a very early age, much of his music is a synthesis of traditional bağlama şelpe performance practices and harmonic practices in tonal and jazz music. He was invited as a composer and he has performed throughout Europe, including at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in Marseille, Nuoro Jazz Festival in Sardinia, and Making Tracks International Music Exchange Programme in the UK. He designed, composed, and directed an outreach music project entitled “Exchange” supported by the Aix-en-Provence Festival, EU, and promoted in the framework of “2018 European Year of Culture Heritage”. The project is based on a collection of personal stories and collective memories of migrated Greek-Turkish communities.
He is also a dedicated and passionate researcher of şelpe technique. After first studying as a research assistant and completing his PhD (2013-2020) at Istanbul Technical University, Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM), Ozan is now a visiting scholar at SOAS, University of London, conducting his post-doctoral research.

Photo Credit : Nasirul Islam